Tesla Model 3 Exhibits Impressive Safety in Tree Crushing Video

By Kevin Armstrong
A tree falls on a Model 3's roof and hood
A tree falls on a Model 3's roof and hood
SMCSheriff/Twitter

A powerful storm in California recently left a path of destruction, with fallen trees damaging cars and homes. Amidst the chaos, a Tesla Model 3 in Portola Valley became the unwitting target of a massive tree. Despite the severe damage, the Model 3's robust roof and windshield structure shielded its passengers from harm.

Photographs shared by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office on Twitter reveal the tree's immense size and weight, emphasizing the significance of the Model 3's performance in the incident. Such incidents serve as a reminder for drivers to avoid hazardous weather conditions whenever possible.

The image is reminiscent of the scary scene captured on video (video below) when a windstorm blew over a tree directly on to a Model 3. The occupants walked away unharmed. In the description of the video upload, the poster writes:

Large section of an old tree fell directly on my car, right above the driver's seat... The footage is from the dash cam of the car behind us. We all walked away... thank you, higher powers and Tesla engineers.

Video Falls on Model 3

The Importance of Roof Strength in Vehicle Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that the 2022 Model 3's roof can withstand a staggering 20,835 lbs of force. This robust roof structure plays a critical role in protecting passengers from accidents involving falling trees or rollovers. IIHS roof strength tests the strength-to-weight ratio, or the force applied relative to the vehicle's weight. A "good" rating requires a strength-to-weight ratio of at least 4. The Tesla Model 3 surpasses this benchmark with its exceptional 5.85 ratio.

Roof strength is vital in preserving occupant survival space during a rollover. Stronger roofs are less likely to crush, reducing the risk of injury from contact with the roof. They also help prevent ejections through windows, windshields, or doors that have broken or opened due to roof deformation.

The Tesla Model 3's performance in this tree-crushing incident highlights the vehicle's exceptional safety features and the company's unwavering commitment to protecting its passengers. As EV technology advances, the Model 3 is a prime example of how safety innovations can make a significant difference in real-world situations. As drivers face an unpredictable world filled with natural and human-made challenges, Tesla's dedication to safety and engineering excellence offers a sense of security and peace of mind behind the wheel.

Tesla's Supercharger Team Shakeup: Firings, Rehiring, and Future Prospects

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently fired the entire Supercharger team, including Tesla’s head of charging – Rebecca Tinucci, after she pushed back on the extreme layoffs that took place right before the cut.

The Supercharger team consisted of over 500 employees, at least after the initial layoffs. In the following days and weeks, Tesla began to rehire some of the employees that it had fired.

Some Damage Done

In the immediate aftermath of the firing of the Supercharger team, contractors and site planners were left bewildered, with no contact from the Supercharger team that was responsible for payment, planning, and decision-making.

As this has played out, new Supercharger deployments have been reduced – stations that were already being built are being completed, but no new announcements have been made since t

It was dire news at the time - but it isn’t all bad.

Returning Employees

Now, more and more of the employees that were fired are beginning to return to Tesla, some of whom are announcing that they were asked to return to Tesla in their previous capacities.

George Bahadue, Senior Manager of Site Acquisition and Business Development commented on LinkedIn:

“Two weeks ago, I was asked to return to Tesla in my previous capacity heading up the business development and site acquisition for Tesla charging – I accepted.”

His reasoning to accept the position was a quote from Rebecca Tinucci:

“You work at Tesla because you hope to have at least a small impact on our collective future – aspirationally, to leave the world better for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren – by accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. And that mission is too important to allow any distractions.”

New Stations Could be Coming Soon

With the restaffing of the Supercharger team, especially with the return of George Bahadue, we can expect that new Supercharger sites may be announced in the coming weeks, as the ripple effect from the layoffs begins to settle.

The rehiring of experienced staff suggests that Tesla and Elon Musk are still committed to the vision of maintaining and expanding its Supercharger network – the largest and most reliable charging network in North America, which is crucial for the mission to move the world to renewable energy.

Tesla Cuts Model Y Output in China – Economic Slowdown and Anticipated Project Juniper Launch

By Karan Singh

Tesla recently cut Model Y output in China, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Tesla’s production of the Model Y in China experienced a decline of approximately 18% in March, and 33% in April, versus the same time last year.

Output Cuts

These output cuts can be attributed to Tesla’s recent decision to reduce production of the Model Y at Giga Shanghai by at least 20% from March to June 2024. This was attributed to an unnamed Spokesperson by Reuters last week.

This decision could be multifaceted – the primary reason being an economic slowdown in China as price wars continue to be waged between EV manufacturers, including Tesla. On the flipside, Tesla has continued its production of the updated 2024 Model 3, colloquially referred to as the Highland, with an increase of 10%.

Project Juniper?

The second reason for this slowdown could be the incoming arrival of the Model Y refresh – also known as Project Juniper. Tesla China has already introduced an updated Model Y with a unique cloth dash with similar ambient lighting as the Model 3.

The Model 3 Highland was also introduced in China before its introduction to other markets, including North America and Europe.

Juniper Upgrade Speculation

Not much has been seen about Project Juniper at this time, but we can expect a similar suite of upgrades that match the updated 2024 Model 3 Highland – including a new front fascia design, updated doors and dynamics, steering updates, improved control arms, ambient lighting, new seats, and improved range.

There is a continued expectation that Tesla is pushing back its Model Y refresh – its best-selling vehicle – to make a bigger splash. This could include newer features – like the Cybertruck’s Steer-by-Wire, front camera, or other upgrades and changes – like the lack of stalks on the rest of the Tesla line-up.

Tesla previously confirmed we’re not seeing the Juniper Y this year, this could be the time needed to retool and upgrade lines to prepare for its introduction sometime next year.

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